Primary Colors

“A beautiful painting depicts the harmony between nature and imagination.”  Lian Quan Zhen

Lian Quan Zhen is one of my favorite contemporary artists. He creates amazing watercolors using only the three primary colors.  From this simple palette he miraculously creates paintings that glow with all of Mother Nature’s hues.  I really admire his work and  have found myself using increasingly fewer tubes of secondary and “designer” colors in my own painting.

Yellow IrisCreating a beautiful spectrum of colors by letting just three of nature’s brilliant colors mingle, suspended in a pool of water is an exciting alternative to choosing from a palette of many colors. Blue Iris

My first palette had 17 wells for holding paint and two large areas for mixing.  I filled it with Windsor Newton Professional Artist’s watercolor paints,  two of each primary color, several “earthy” shades like Sepia, Red LilyBurnt Sienna and Raw Umber, Sap Green and Veridian and a few other “designer colors”  I still love these colors and I still use this palette.

But now I keep a special palette clean for when I’m in a “Primary” mood. Like after my walk in the garden this week when the Lilies were whispering to me!

"Iris"  watercolor on paper by Karen Hines using wet-in-wet technique

“Iris” watercolor on paper by Karen Hines using wet-in-wet technique

Lian is also fond of pouring his paints directly onto the paper’s wet surface to achieve beautiful organic effects.   It can be unpredictable and chaotic but what fun can be had with water and if you’re up for a challenge and just three little colors!


Have a great week !


About Karen Hines Art

I am an artist living in the mountains of Virginia and expressing my love of nature through painting.
This entry was posted in Nature, watercolor and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Primary Colors

  1. Reblogged this on Martha Keim-St. Louis' blog and commented:
    I love using just a few colors too

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